T. Buettner & Co. Inc. Salesroom

Postcard  - Front 

Dated: Septemner 22,1911

Author's Collection

T. Buettner & Co., Inc.


Susan Wildemuth, Atkinson, Illinois

T. Buettner and Co., Inc. were  importers and manufacturers of art needlework products. The exact date the company was founded is unknown – approximate date 1888. It was founded by two brothers Emil and Ernest Theodor Buettner with Ernest Theodor (known as Theo to all) being the brother who remained the longest at the helm of the company.

T. Buettner & Co. Inc. was Incorporated December 4, 1903

Buettner published art needlework catalogs and instruction books.  The term Nun's is associated with this company. Click to go to the list of Buettner Catalogs and Instruction Books


 Nun's Embroidery Thread Book Cover

Nun's Embroidery Thread Book Interior

Author's Collection

(Special Thanks to Shirley McElderry)

Products Produced

Buettner's corporation papers state their company's goal was “to buy and sell and manufacture art needlework materials, linens, laces, pyrographic materials, and good of all kinds, also notions and dry goods and to engage in general mercantile importing and manufacturing business. 


Company Name Variations

T. Buettner & Co.

T. Buettner and Co., Inc.

T.B.C. (These initials sometimes appear on Buettner linens/textiles with a catalog



Company Founders



#1.   Emil Buettner (Theo’s brother). 


        Born: December 1857 (Genealogists use this date as a starting point, needs primary

        source verification.)

        Married to Bertha

        There were children born from this marriage.

        Death: Emil died on June 13, 1933 in Eagle River, Wisconsin.



Ernest Theodor Buettner and Dora Buettner

Photo Courtesy of Cornelia Poser


#2.   Ernest Theodor Buettner (fluent in German and English).  He was known to everyone as Theo. The German name Buttner became Americanized to Buettner.


Born: October 22, 1865   (Hanover, Germany)


Immigrated to America:   May 26, 1888  on the Werra from Bremen Germany.

(Oral History Family – Genealogists use this date as a starting point, needs primary source verification)


Date of Naturalization:  July 11, 1893 Ernst T. Buettner (Notice spelling variation)


Married:  Dora Amalie Buettner

                Born: April 21, 1865  (Neuhaus, Germany)

Theo and Dora were married in Germany before they came to America.


No Children


Ernest Theodor Buettner was listed as Vice-President of T. Buettner and Co., Inc. in 1919 and President in 1922.


Died: June 29, 1941 (Died of cancer in Germany) (Genealogists use this date as a starting point, needs primary source verification)


Family Residences

Theo and Dora Buettner


211 East Jackson

Chicago, Illinois                                        (January 1906)


317 W. Adams Street

Chicago, Illinois                                        (June 1919)


The couple retained residences in both America and Germany. They built a German hillside home, actually two land houses, around 1908/10 called “Buttner-Haus” in Lutterburg.  The German home was designed by a famous architect Hermann Muthesius.  They also had an adjacent farm named “Weserhof” which produced food and produce for the community of Lutterburg.

Buettner Family Home in Germany

Photo Courtesy of Cornelia Poser


Made yearly buying trips (duration 3 to 9 months) to Europe (mainly Germany) since 1893 and brought the goods back to America to sell. The last trip they made together as a married couple was in 1939, right before WW2 and they remained in Germany where Theo died in 1941 of cancer.  His wife died in 1956. Theo and Dora are both buried in Germany.  The couple left their capital (also the Lutterburg-houses and farms) to the University of Gottinggen for cancer studies, but the university sold the houses and farms.  Today the wonderful houses, the whole ground, the cemetery, and the chapel are in ruins.


Notation in the Passport Records of Ernest T. Buettner   (1919)


“Department of State

Chief Official Report

June 14, 1919


Dear. Mr. Flourney,


Investigation at that point shows party has been established in business since 1893 and is quite successful..  Enjoys a good reputation and there is every reason to believe he is going abroad for the sole purpose stated in his application (passport application.).


Chief Special Agent.”

Ernest T. Buettner Passes Away



“Bank Made Administrator of E.T. Buettner Estate


Letters of administration in the estimated $200,000 estate of Ernst (error in spelling of name) T. Buettner, founder and chairman of T. Buettner & Co., Inc.  wholesalers and importers of art needlework were issued yesterday in the City National Bank and Trust Company by John F. Keeley, assistant to Probate Judge John F. O’Connell. Buetter died June 29 at the age of 75 while on a buying trip in Germany.  The estate goes to his widow, Dora, who is still in Germany.”

                                                                Chicago Daily Tribune – July 4, 1941



T. Buettner & Co. Inc. Information -  Post 1941

(The company leaves family hands)




July 22, 1947 – Company name was officially changed from T. Buettner and Company to T. Buettner & Co., Inc.  – though the names were used interchangeably throughout the years before they were officially changed. 



William E. Creaney was Secretary of the Corporation in 1947.




William E. Creaney (of Chicago, Illinois) – retired in 1953 as Vice President of T. Buettner & Co. Inc. after 49 years with the firm, formerly at 221 Adams Street. He died May 13, 1961 and was survived by his sister Irene A. A mass was held at the catholic church in Chicago.


Sam Fixler was President of the corporation in 1953 and his wife Pauline was Secretary.




Puritan Needlecraft Co. merged into T. Buettner & Co., Inc. on January 2, 1954. Sam Fixler was still President of the corporation and his wife Pauline was Secretary.




T. Buettner & Co. Inc. – the corporation was dissolved on February 2, 1960. Sam Fixler (President) and Lowell S. Fixler (Secretary)

Quilt Kit


Shirley McElderry, Ottumwa, Iowa

Submited this Scan

of a

T. Buettner & Co. - Chicago, Illinois

Quilt Kit Handout



THANK YOU!!!!!!!

A very special thank you to Cornelia Poser (of Germany) for furnishing me with information and family photographs.  A special thanks also goes to Shirley McElderry and Arene Burgess.


Source Information




T. Buettner & Co. Inc. Salesroom

Postcard  - Back

Dated: Septemner 22,1911

Author's Collection


 Special Note

If anyone has any additional information concerning the owners,  this company, additional catalogs or leaflets, quilt kits numbers, etc., please contact Susan Wildemuth